Saturday, January 1, 2011

Nothing is Hidden!

A student once asked Ts' ui-wei “What is the real meaning of Buddhism?” Ts' ui-wei answered: "Wait until there is no one around and I will tell you." Later that evening the monk again approached him and said, "There is nobody here now. Please tell me, what is the real meaning of Buddhism?" Ts'ui-wei led him into the garden and went over to some bamboo and pointed. "Here is a tall bamboo; there is a short one!"

A fundamental tenet of Zen is that there are no hidden teachings. Everything is free and presented openly. Within these open teachings lie both the esoteric and exoteric teachings, only the student's understanding separates one from the other. Anyone who claims that there are hidden teachings beyond this, knows nothing of Zen.

Nothing is hidden!


  1. No, no, there is much that is hidden - but I have been told the esoteric secrets and I will share them with you for £140 per hour!

    Roll up, roll up!

  2. £140 an hour! What a deal! But how will I know it will "the" secret teachings? I understand that to learn the secret teachings takes many years, and at £140 an hour, I want to make sure that I'm not getting ripped off!

  3. This reminds me also of Kabir: "I laugh when I hear the fish in the water is thirsty!"

    () Kyorei

  4. The Buddha said it himself (DN 16.32):

    "Thus spoke the Venerable Ananda, but the Blessed One answered him, saying: "What more does the community of bhikkhus expect from me, Ananda? I have set forth the Dhamma without making any distinction of esoteric and exoteric doctrine; there is nothing, Ananda, with regard to the teachings that the Tathagata holds to the last with the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back."

  5. @Koro Kaisan,

    you cannot know, because for aeons past you've been deceived by the phantoms of your self. You live in illusion, you can not know. Therefore, you have to give yourself to the master (give him your wallet too) and if you are a good boy, he may give you the secret.

    (And I think Kaishin is good at it, he is leaving his job in order to leave fully of his students -maybe this is the reason he's leaving England?)


    I read somewhere that zen is about what the Buddha never wrote... you know, people in his time weren't ready to the most profound teachings: "There is a tall bamboo, there is a short one!".

  6. Don't worry, Miles, if you don't become enlightened after a course of ten one-hour dokusans, I will return all of your fee.

    But how to know if you've been elightened? It's ok, a certified Master will certify your who could that be?

  7. For a man looking through dirty glasses, much will indeed be obscured.